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Doctoral Thesis Proposal

28 Feb 2017Writing Tips

Suggested Timeline for Dissertation Proposal

It is suggested by graduate schools and universities that you start with research at least 4 months before your doctoral thesis proposal. If the schedule for your proposal defence will be on May of next year, for example, you should start working on January. This is because unlike an undergraduate thesis papers, a dissertation is a lengthy piece of academic writing that should show your expertise in your chosen topic and should contribute to new knowledge in your field. Here are the suggested tasks to be complete per month:

Month 1

  • Preliminary research;
  • Define research questions/objectives;
  • Formulate working thesis;
  • Work on methodology and finish rough draft of methodology;
  • Find committee members for doctoral theses proposal defence.

Month 2

  • Library work;
  • Refine thesis help and dissertation methodology;
  • Write rough draft of literature review;
  • Get feedbacks from committee members;
  • Prepare working bibliography.

Month 3

  • Write Introduction;
  • Finish writing methodology chapter;
  • Finish writing literature review chapter;
  • Incorporate feedbacks of committee members;
  • Finish the bibliography.

Month 4

  • Polish format of proposal;
  • Prepare for the presentation.

Notice that in the suggested timeline, meeting with committee members is done at least once a month. This is to make sure that you are on the right track and that if there you’ll remedy the things that are needed to be improved upon while you still have time. Doctoral dissertations need to be always consulted with those who will approve them.

Notice also the last month, everything that you need to write is already finished. The only thing that you need is to prepare for the presentation itself. This involves making Power-point presentations or hand-outs to be given to the committee members. Many graduate students make the mistake of writing with the defence 2 weeks away. This is a no-no because the pressure and the stress will not be beneficial with the organization and clarity of your doctoral thesis proposal. Let this rough schedule guide you so that you’ll not be cramming and you’ll not produce a sloppy work. Don’t bother yourself – just buy thesis at

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